Starting a Business – What is a Business Plan?

So you’ve decided to start your own business — congratulations! It’s a huge leap from letting someone else take care of taxes, accounting, payroll, inventory, and/or a myriad of other activities necessary to run a business. However, running your own business has its advantages, too. You get to be your own boss, set your own hours and days to work, and are responsible for your own success. It can be a great way to free yourself from the tedium of 9-5 and work at doing what you love, but you have to begin by asking a few questions:
1. Are you doing what you love, or just doing something you’re good at? A desire to get away from the regular working world can be a good motivation to work for yourself, but you have to be excited to get up in the morning to do what it is you have chosen to do for a living.
2. What is it you are planning to do? What niche is it going to fill? Is there a need for what you can provide? Will the market bear another entry?
3. What technical skills or talents do you have? Just being able to do something may not be marketable enough to convince customers or financiers that you are a good financial investment.
4. Who are your competitors in your chosen profession and how are you going to do it better? Why should customers come to you? What do you have to offer that no one else does?

Once you are satisfied with the answers to these questions, it is time for the decision of what kind of business structure you will use. Will you be a sole proprietor, responsible for every facet and the penultimate authority as to how to run the business? Will you enter in with a partner, the better to share the cost and workload, but also the profits and the business decisions? Perhaps the decision will be made to incorporate, with its financial safeguards but more complex and costly structure? At this stage, legal advice is recommended, if only so that you fully understand the advantages and disadvantages of your chosen structuring plan. Many lawyers will provide a free or reduced-rate primary consultation, though often not more than an hour. When the structure is finalized, a name for the business should be decided upon, if not already having been done so in advance. It should be easy to remember, avoid initials and single letters (B & L & R, Inc. will be difficult to remember for customers) and try to say something about the business (Bob’s House of Hobbies is easier to remember and spell).

Next, a business plan is a vital step in laying out all these topics and proposals in a standardized format. A good business plan serves as a formal statement of the new company’s goals, financing, structure and legal considerations. It acts as a “resume” to prospective investors and is the primary documentation they will use to evaluate whether or not your business will be worth investing into. It also provides the proprietor(s) with a chance to see the workings of the new business in black and white. A basic business plan should at the least contain a balance sheet, income statement and statement of cash flow, as well as a proposed financial budget for the first year, or as long a period as necessary if a year is impractical.

Starting A Career In Journalism

There are many different types of journalism styles out there to choose from when starting a career in journalism. You may have already decided on a style that interests you but whether you are into Gonzo journalism or reporting news, most journalists start from ground zero and build themselves and their reputation up from there. No matter what style you chose in the end there are some important things to remember in order to get your work noticed.

There are certain traits a budding journalist will already need to have when embarking on a career in journalism. A good journalist must have; a keen interest in people, an inquisitive nature, ability to meet deadlines and outstanding communication skills. Basically, if you are not interested in what people have to say, their emotions and their achievements you simply can not function as a journalist.

Take up a part time course

I have met many people who have found taking an evening or at home journalism course very helpful. They won’t teach you all you possibly need to know but they give you a good base to start with. You can find courses like this at most local colleges that run during the year or even shorter courses for ten weeks at a time. Online journalism schools especially offer an array of courses which are more specialized such as sports journalism, community journalism, photo journalism, feature articles, conducting interviews, shorthand and many more. It will give you a base to start gaining experience which all journalists need. You never know, it might open doors to other things!

Cross your T’s and dot your I’s!

I really can not stress enough the importance of spelling, punctuation and grammar. Sending off work that has not been spell checked or edited will only look bad on you and will tarnish your reputation. An editor might think you have a good story, but they do not have time to correct mistakes as they have deadlines too. An important tip to remember is to never not proof read your own work and to double check over and over!

Read and write whenever you get the chance

Try to read whatever you can get your hands on. It is important for a journalist to keep up to date and analyse other styles that are out there. This will also help you develop a good news sense. It is a good tip from early on to archive clippings of any articles you have written, as you might need to fall back on them later.

Try and read and rewrite smaller articles as much as you can. This is a good habit to pick up to keep you in the ‘write’ frame of mind. I find it helps before writing anything as the words seems to flow more.

When I first started writing as a freelance journalist the only way I could really publicize myself was to write for free for a local community newspaper. Free jobs like these I feel is where the most experience is gained as you get the chance to strengthen your style and build up the speed in which you can produce a good article. It will give you a good opportunity to build up relationships with editors and get to know good contacts.

There are also many different outlets out there that you can use to advertise your work. The internet is one of the best for this. You can also start your own website, blog, ghost write… There are many websites that offer new and experienced writers places to showcase their work. With the internet especially, there are no limits to what you can do!

The author Patricia Jones writes for several websites including The Creative Writer and the Make Money From Writing site where you can find lots of free advice about making money from writing.

Are You Qualified For The Job You Want?

What is the first thing you do when you want to find a new job? The chances are you will start looking in the jobs section of the local papers. You might also go online to see what is available, and you’ll ask friends and family to keep an eye out for suitable positions. But, how much do you think about your qualifications?

It doesn’t tend to be the first thing you think about, and yet how well qualified you are to take on the job you are interested in is very important. But, if you don’t have what is required for the role you want, then you could waste a lot of time filling out the application forms. What’s more, being turned down constantly could be very demoralising – when it probably wouldn’t happen if you had the right qualifications.

So what do you need to do?

The best route to success is to think carefully about what role you would like to take on in the first place. For example, let’s suppose you want to work in the medical field. That is a very big field to go into, and there are potentially hundreds of jobs that you could apply for.

Needless to say, some will require more qualifications than others. For example, a sales job may need a certain level of experience, whereas becoming a doctor will obviously require several years of training to become successful. So, you need to think carefully about what area of work you want to go into before you start applying for any type of job at all.

It may be that you have a very specific idea of what you would like to do – and you’re not sure which job would suit you best. In this case it would help to speak to a careers adviser or other professionals who can enlighten you as to what to expect.

This is particularly the case if the career you are thinking about will require retraining. The last thing you want to do is to spend time and money studying for the exams you need, only to find you don’t like your new job when you finally get it.

If you can possibly speak to someone who is already settled in the career you are thinking of choosing, so much the better. This will give you the best possible insight into what you can expect when you finally get there. You can also ask any questions you might have about what the role entails.

No matter whether you want to go into banking, medical, industrial or pharmaceutical jobs, be sure you are prepared for what to expect before you apply for anything. Only this will ensure you get the best possible result for you.

Victoria Cochrane writes for a digital marketing agency. This article has been commissioned by a client of said agency. This article is not designed to promote, but should be considered professional content.

Selecting The Best Premium Candles For Hostess Gifts

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